Hartlepool United’s summer signings have caught the eye of impressed Craig Hignett during their intense pre-season training camp in Tenerife.
Hignett was confident he had added “quality” to his squad in the shape of goal machine Padraig Amond, attacking midfielder Nicky Deverdics, defender Toto Nsiala and forward Lewis Alessandra.
And he is delighted the quartet are already proving their worth in the intense heat at La Caleta.
The Pools squad completed their first 90 minutes of pre-season in an in-house match at their training base yesterday - and Hignett was pleased with what he saw.
“We have had a training game - 90 minutes for them all - which was very beneficial,” Hignett told SportMail.
“It was an in-house game, it was their first 90 minutes and the team shape, pattern and play was pleasing.
“I am really pleased with the way the players have taken the new ideas on board - the new players especially.
“All the new lads have come in have real quality and they have shown that in training.
“The new players have all integrated really well and from that point of view I am really pleased.
“To go away early in pre-season was important and it gives them a great chance to get to know each other; by the time we get back they will all be very good friends.
“I am delighted with the way the week has gone.
“If the season started tomorrow I would be happy with what I have got.
“We are still looking and talking but there is nothing else happening yet.”
The training game was split into three 30-minute sessions to ensure the players took on enough fluids, with Jordan Richards, Josh Laurent and Billy Paynter scoring in a 3-0 triumph for the ‘orange bibs’.
The Pools squad have been working hard under the expert eye of Hignett and first team coach Curtis Fleming, with the players ‘enjoying’ two physical sessions a day.
They were treated to Wednesday afternoon off after the 11 v 11 game but they face an intense end to the week before jetting back to the North East this weekend.
Hignett is pleased with how his first pre-season as manager is going.
“The training facilities here in Tenerife are brilliant.
“We have had to be careful in the heat but in terms of what we have done and how we look it has been very pleasing.
“Friday we will do a double session and again Saturday it will be hard and then home on Sunday.”
The players will have Monday off before returning to training at Maiden Castle on Tuesday ahead of the friendly with Sunderland at Victoria Park next Wednesday.